The recent rush to recognise “Palestine” by the British Parliament and the Government of Sweden fails to take into account several anomalies and illegalities which can’t but be viewed as biased anti-Jewish animus.
The State of Israel was, of course, just one of many new or recreated nations that, in the wake of World War I, were carved out of the former German, Austro-Hungarian, Czarist and Ottoman empires.
These included, for example, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Mandate Syria and Mandate Iraq. All of these states entailed the granting of sovereignty, or promised sovereignty in the case of the Mandates, to previously largely disenfranchised peoples, and all also encompassed other ethnic groups within their borders that chafed at the new national arrangements. Yet, 66 years later, none have stirred anything like the animosity displayed by a mainly liberal-left elite in Europe, in thrall to a rampant radical Islamism, to the fact of a recreated Jewish national home.
Rather, a vocal anti-Jewish lobby in Europe and Britain today has opted instead for a smug and casual hatred of the Zionist project, under a transparently ludicrous veneer of moral superiority.
It is not to be forgotten that the medieval blood libel that Jews kill Christians, particularly children, to use the blood of Christian innocents for Jewish rituals, was first introduced in England with the earliest recorded such claim involving the death of one William of Norwich in 1144.
And it should also be remembered that the blood libel was exported from England to the continent, where over eight centuries it provided a rationale for the murder of thousands of Jews. It’s most gruesome and horrific iteration was the Final Solution proposed by an amoral German Nazi regime, but since the end of World War II it has enjoyed its greatest popularity in the Arab world.
Today, Britain and Europe, with enthusiastic backing from a demographically significant European Muslim migrant population together with financial muscle from Arab Muslim kings, emirs and other petty but monied ME tyrants, join in the markedly racist and illegal call for the creation of a Judenrein “Palestinian” state, while still others call for the Jewish state to be subsumed into a binational (read: Arab majority) “Palestine”.
Indeed, with the renewed anti-semitic upsurge in Ireland, long a PLO/Fatah/Hamas backer from the time of the now-sanitized, re-invented Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, together with official political bodies in the UK and Sweden, there is a concerted European push calling for the recognition of “Palestine”, claiming that such recognition would “contribute to securing a two-state solution.”
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Any unilateral moves and declarations by Europe to recognise “Palestine” are based on questionable legal, historic and political premises since no Palestinian state exists, and the issue of the status of the territories is subject to negotiation.
In fact, the European and British claim that recognising “Palestine” would “contribute to securing a two-state solution” is the antithesis of what it purports to be by pre-judging the outcome of the very negotiations, under international law and several UN resolutions, they purport to support.
One does not need a degree in international law or political history to see what is the real aim of the parties concerned.
Furthermore, those aims rely on illegal interpretations of international rulings and a willingness to manipulate the law to produce a Final Solution by other means.
While the ultimate aim of a “negotiated two-state solution” correctly acknowledges the present legal situation in which the issue of final status of the territory is a distinct negotiating issue between Israel and the “Palestinians”, pursuant to the Oslo Accords, it is clear that the issue of the permanent status of the territory remains an open negotiating issue, yet to be agreed-on, and one may assume that upon resumption of the negotiating process, it will be duly addressed by the parties as one of the central agenda items.
Thus, imposing an agreement by outside parties will not further a “negotiate” peace process one iota.
The British House of Commons, the Irish Upper House and the Swedish prime minister would appear to contradict themselves by recognizing that negotiations are still pending, while at the same time prejudging the outcome of the very negotiation they purport to support, by calling for recognition of the state of Palestine.
Clearly no such Palestinian state or sovereign entity exists and thus cannot logically be recognized or acknowledged by the Irish Upper House or others.
Similarly, no international treaty, convention or binding international resolution or determination has ever been adopted or entered into, that determines that the territories in dispute are indeed “Palestinian”.
Further, the Palestinian leadership itself is committed, pursuant to the Oslo Accords, to negotiate the issue of the permanent status of the territory.
Article V of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements signed by Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin on September 13, 1993 states as follows:
“2. Permanent status negotiations will commence as soon as possible, but not later than the beginning of the third year of the interim period, between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian people representatives.
3. It is understood that these negotiations shall cover remaining issues, including: Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security arrangements, borders, relations and cooperation with other neighbors, and other issues of common interest.”
Clearly then, the ultimate status of “Palestine”, whether as a state or any other sovereign entity agreed-upon by the two sides, cannot be arbitrarily imposed by external parties, including the UK, Irish or Swedish parliaments, or the UN.
It can only result from a genuine negotiating process in accordance with accepted norms and requirements of international law regarding the characteristics of statehood.
The 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States clearly determines that:
“The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: a ) a permanent population; b ) a defined territory; c ) government; and d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.”
Clearly, the “Palestinians” do not meet the requirements set out in this convention.
Thus, the attempt by House of Commons, the Irish Upper House of Parliament and the Swedish prime minister to recognise a “Palestinian” state clearly pre-empts the outcome of any negotiation the trio above are themselves legal signatories to through a one-sided determination that totally ignores legitimate legal and historic claims to the territory by Israel, including those based on historic and legal commitments to which the United Kingdom itself is bound. They would, therefore, appear to be intervening in a bona fide negotiating process (in international law) by supporting one side only.
That these three groups do not see the bias, animus and disregard for international law when it suits them, in holding such a position, strains credulity.
If the “Palestinians” do not meet internationally codified definitions of statehood, what about the claim by “Palestinians” that Israel occupies the West Bank.
Article 42 of the Hague Regulations, primarily because it actually falls under a category titled, “Military Authority Over the Territory of the Hostile State,” unequivocally explains the type of territory in question. The West Bank was never/is not a state; it is disputed territory taken in a defensive war after an illegal occupation so-named by all but 2 nations in the world and subject to negotiation under that same international law that Ireland, Britain and Sweden would today conveniently ignore.
In international law, as in any type of law, one should look to an interpretation only if the wording of the original is somehow unclear or vague. The wording of Article 42 is blindingly clear.
Pursuing this theme of Eurabian anti-Jewish animus, in 1967, the ICRC quickly branded Israel’s acquisition of the territory as an “occupation,” but made no such finding during the 19 years of illegal Jordanian rule. In fact, one would be hard-pressed to find any ICRC assertions that a territory is “occupied” by a particular nation in the dozens of other territorial disputes that have yet to find a resolution…..
In addition, the legality of Israeli settlement in Judea and Samaria including Jerusalem beyond the 1949 armistice lines is clearly addressed in Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Taken from the ICRC’s own website, it states that “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” Here, the terms “deport” and “transfer” are active, meaning that civilians are not acting on their own behest.
As the ICRC itself acknowledges, Article 49 was drawn up in the wake of the Nazi policy of forcibly transferring parts of its own population into territories it occupied before and during the war. The most infamous of these forcible transfers or deportations was the masses of Jews who were sent to occupied territories to be murdered en masse in Poland and elsewhere.
This provision of the Geneva Convention regarding forced population transfer cannot possibly be viewed as prohibiting the voluntary return of individuals to the cities, towns and villages from which they, or their ancestors, had been ousted.
In 1970, regarding Israel’s case, former State Department legal adviser Stephen Schwebel, who later headed the International Court of Justice in The Hague, wrote: “Where the prior holder of territory had seized that territory unlawfully, the state which subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-defense has, against that prior holder, better title.”
In 1980, Julius Stone, professor of jurisprudence and international Law, wrote: “Because of the ex iniuria principle [unjust acts cannot create law], Jordan never had, nor now has, any legal title in the West Bank, nor does any other state even claim such title. Article 49 thus seems simply not applicable. Even if it were, it may be added that the facts of recent voluntary settlements seem not to be caught by the intent of Article 49, which is rather directed at the forced transfer of the belligerent’s inhabitants to the occupied territory, or the displacement of the local inhabitants for “other than security reasons”(emphasis mine).
And finally, in 1991, Prof. Eugene Rostow, former US undersecretary of state for political affairs, wrote: “The Jewish right of settlement in the area is equivalent in every way to the right of the local population to live there.”
Attempts to impose a state of “Palestine” on Israel by Britain, Ireland and Sweden rest on very shaky legal grounds.
There is a reason there has been no “Palestinian” state these past 66 years.
The Arab leadership refusal to accept the Partition Plan, the repeated attempts to bend international law through waging war, the three “Nos” of Khartoum which precluded legal negotiations, the rejection of three peace initiatives by the “Palestinian” ‘leadershp’ in the past twenty years, all point to an oft-stated goal by the very people Israel is supposed to be negotiating with for its continued safety and survival: an Arab Muslim state from the river to the sea.
The willingness of Britain, Ireland and Sweden to unilaterally press for a “Palestinian” state on the basis that Israel has to end its “occupation” of the West Bank despite the fact that Judea and Samaria did not belong to any state before 1948, flies in the face of any reasonable application of Article 42 of the Hague Regulations to which the trio above, as EU members, are signatories.
And finally, the willingness of Britain, Ireland and Sweden to wilfully ignore the last provision of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which states that an active transfer or deportation of its own citizens has to be undertaken by the state occupying the area, something that has clearly never happened in the history of Israel’s control of the territories in question, merely serves to strengthen the perception that the new/old anti-semitism is prepared to sacrifice Jewish lives again for the sake of new-found “friends” and short term expediencies.
There may yet be a “Palestinian” state in one form or another. But any iteration of that state will have no choice but to take Israel’s security needs into consideration given the neighbourhood it lives in. “Palestine” will come into being through negotiation.
In the meanwhile, the European trio’s rush to recognise “Palestine” will always come up against legal precedent and international law against which it has no recourse now nor in the foreseeable future.
There is a sense of Arab-Muslim privilege which exists today that makes anti-Semitism “okay,” acceptable in academic discourse, and even politically correct. It enables impressionable college students looking for a cause to question a Jew’s very identity, to challenge their ancient history, and therefore allows them no future.
This type of prejudice will be fought against in all the relevant arenas.
It is one thing to be perceived as trying to right a wrong. But no wrong has been committed; a dispersed people have fought for, and earned the right for their very noisy, opinionated, fractious, democratic, cultured, lawful survival.
It needs to be understood that the current Arab-Muslim sense of “entitlement” are ethnically and religiously biased variations of the old European libels that manifested themselves in racist anti-Jewish laws for centuries in Western Europe, and which culminated in the Holocaust.
The politics of internal national voting patterns and demographic demagoguery will never create a ‘nation’ state. International law will see to that.
This article is a synthesis of the intellectual property of Yair Shamir, Alan Baker, Jacques Gauthier, Howard Grief and essential principles from Anthony Cullen’s book: “The Concept of Non-International Armed Conflict in International Humanitarian Law”.